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My Confidence BE® Story: Kev

My story

I’ve had a varied career and life. I was in the army, worked at festivals, lived on a canal, worked as a forester and now, because of my operation, I live and work on a community farm. 

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer on my 53rd birthday which sort of changed everything really. After that, things moved really quickly.

I’ve always been pretty laid back, nothing fazes me, but getting cancer was quite a hit. The choices made since the operation have put me in a much better place than before to be honest. The troubles give you a different outlook on life and I hope I’ve improved my life since then.

My recovery

When I went to the hospital for my initial scan results, I made the mistake of going on my own. I sat in the car afterwards and went ‘oh’. I thought, what about my family? I didn’t really think about me, possibly because I wasn’t sure what it all meant for everyone other than you know what. That was a mistake, and so my recovery involved my friends and my family. To me that’s important.

I don’t know about other people but, for the first couple of years after the operation, it’s the only thing you want to talk about; I’m not sure if that is good or bad really, it’s just what it is.

My emotional journey

I was fine throughout my journey because oddly enough I had no pain which I found was very surprising. It was more the look on my families face after when they first came to see me in hospital that upset me. Looking back, I thought a lot more about my family than myself.

What was difficult was doing nothing; I used to be a very busy person, always doing stuff. When I did make it home, I had a lot of time to think about things and that is why I decided to move to Wales and work in forestry on a community farm. 

My physical journey

Army, festivals, canals, forestry… my life and work has always been physical so having a bag has simply slowed me down. My work is still physical, and I even built my own log cabin so my body is still able, albeit a little bit less.

Kev walking through woods

My everyday life 

I live on a community farm with lots of other people who come and go. I’ve been there about seven years and my job is to go around and literally fix things. It can be strenuous work sometimes, with cutting down trees and then operating the sawmill. I don’t and can’t work as hard as I used to but I work enough and I get a lot of freedom to work at my own pace, which is nice.

I actually started using Confidence BE® halfway through building my cabin. I was able to do more, work longer, use fewer bags. It made all the difference to me. Longevity, comfort, I reckon it reduced the build time by a lot because I had all these good things going on and I didn’t have to change the bags as much.

My well-being

I’ve never really thought I’ve had mental health problems but it’s the little things that improve your life. 

Having the stoma slowed me down.

I know now when to rest, to stop and let others take the strain even which I initially found quite hard.

Having a stoma also gives you a different perspective on life; I’m on my second life now. It’s very easy to say you should fill every daylight hour with difference experiences, but I want to just be chilled. Having a stoma has chilled me.

I live on a community farm with lots of transient people, many of whom I would describe as having mental health challenges, especially the young. But do you know what, they are all very kind and understanding people to each other. I have never had any issues of people looking at my stoma, I think that’s why it’s the first place in my mid-fifties that I have finally put down some roots. I feel safe and settled.

Well-being is about carrying on my life as I’ve always done, and Confidence BE® allows me to do this.

My connection with Confidence BE®

I don’t even know I’m wearing it. With my old bags, I seemed to be checking it every ten minutes, especially when I was in the forest. Hard labour eats bags. I built my own cabin using the trees on the farm which was a big job; lots of body movement, different body temperatures and sweat, clothes moving about. With Confidence BE®,

I don’t even know I’m wearing it, so I don’t even think about it. 
Sometimes I have to check it’s there. Yep, it’s still there sort of thing. That’s the difference.

My other bags where like having a plaster cast on a broken arm and constantly wanting to scratch it because it itched. Not anymore. And that does make life a lot better.

The difference between my old bags and now with Confidence BE® is like leather and silk; the new bag is a whole different ball game. Having a bag was like having an extension to your body but not anymore.

I was put forward for a Confidence BE® urostomy trial by my stoma care nurse. I really did put those three test bags through it. As soon as I saw them, I thought, I like these, so I saved them for special test occasions such as going out and hard work. I think my comment to my stoma care nurse was “when are we getting these - please?”.

The thing I really like about Confidence BE® is the fact that the people who did the research really did the research. I feel very humble, and I’d like to say thank you.

It’s the little things. The colours, who’d have thought having three different colours would make such a difference?

Confidence BE® has improved my lifestyle because I can do tasks and things for longer. Sometimes I wish I could do less if I’m honest, but it’s a nice place to be. 

I’m a forester so, if I were to compare Confidence BE® to a tree, it would be a hazel; subtle, bendy, useful, and the leaves are very silky.

How I would describe Confidence BE® in one word is life-changing, it feels like I’m wearing silk.

Please find a link to see Kev's full video interview below:


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